Remus Uomo & Ulster Rugby
As some of you readers might already know, we do a fair amount of compositing these days. There are many different reasons out there for "piecing together" an image; lighting control, special effects, or subject availability. The latter was the main factor for utilizing it on on recent project for Remus Oumo and Ulster Rugby.
I was asked to come up with a solution to photographing several rugby players wearing some the latest Remus Oumo designs, on location at the Ulster Rugby headquarters. In the previous season one of the player's locker rooms was used so in the tradition of keeping it fresh, the creative director and myself scouting the location to come up with a fresh viewpoint and some interesting angles. After perusing the building we decided on the gym area, specifically the weight room. It has an interesting ceiling and when shot at an angle has nice depth to the room. The overheads light would play nicely in breaking up the patterns of the ceiling with some repeating highlights.
I photographed Rory the creative director as a stand in for the sample shot.
With a little colour temperature tweaking and some simple comping together . . . .
And then a slight tonal treatment . . . . . .
And a grad across the bottom . . . . .
Ideas were starting to come together. . . . .
The whole shoot was lit with just one light, it was a Profoto white Softlightwith a grid. I wanted a soft, directional light from over head, so the Softlight and grid were boomed over each subject. Power wasn't really a concern since the light would be so close to the subject but we still cracked open the Profoto Acute 1200packs, just to have the flexibility in case we did need the power.
[caption id="attachment_1699" align="aligncenter" width="713"]Yours truly doing my best rugby stare[/caption]
I was shooting tethered from the Pentax 645zto my MacBook Pro using the new DNA Lightroom plugin.
I have extensively tested the DNA pluginvs. Pentax IT2vs. Adobe's own plugin for LRand I have found pros and cons for all of them. In the end I always seem to be coming back to the Pentax IT2 software, which is the only option to have remote camera control, as well as options for saving files to the SD cards. Many users complain about speed but they aren't grasping that this is still probably the fastest MFD system for transferring 50mp files; I can transfer 12 image files in 40 seconds (3.3 seconds per).
Most of those features weren't needed in this shoot, mostly just the file transferring. The size and dynamic range of the image files really opened up the door for some heavy flexing when it came time for post production. I had shot a heavily bracketed background plate for the subject to be comped into but for the most part it wasn't used since the dynamic range is so huge, I can just manipulate it from the specific subject files. I will say though, the new HDR and panoramic merge options in Lightroom are miles better than they ever were and along with the file image being a DNG, manipulation of the image after the merge sequence is totally feasible, flexible and amazing compared to the old tiff outputs.
Like I said earlier one of the main reasons for doing a composite image is when you can't get all your subjects at one time for the photograph. This was the case for this shoot. All the rugby players had different commitments through out the day so each would be photographed individually and then pieced together in post. My good friend John at needpost.comwould be helping me with some of the delicate image surgery stuff, while I executed the tone and colour treatments.
So here you can see the Superboomwith the Acute headand white Softlight reflectorwith grid, pooling slightly in front of the model. You can see the other positioning marks for the other subjects on the floor.
This is the first version with them all in situ. From this point it becomes a whole lot easier with just some retouching and toning.
[caption id="attachment_1721" align="aligncenter" width="713"]V2.0[/caption]
This is version 4.0 with words and some wrinkles retouched.
[caption id="attachment_1722" align="aligncenter" width="713"]V4.0[/caption]
This is version 6 with our number 4 guy enlarged in the frame, the light behind him more intense, more wrinkles fixed and the floor brought down a bit.
[caption id="attachment_1723" align="aligncenter" width="713"]V6.0[/caption]
And here is the final version, V7.0 with some slight dodging and burning and a bit more colour tweaking.
[caption id="attachment_1724" align="aligncenter" width="713"]V7.0[/caption]
Here are a couple of behind the scenes videos shot by Andy Yoong at Honcho Media.
The first one shows a little more of the behind the scenes and
the second one is the finished edit
Remus Cut Grade 1from rob durston productionson Vimeo.
Remus Cut Grade 4from rob durston productionson Vimeo.
Creative Director - Rory Jeffers
Assistant - Malachy McCrudden
Make Up Artist - Ashley Morhej
Retoucher - John Flynn
Video Dooode - Andy Yoong